01 Design

Taking motorized sofas to new heights

The new and innovative Stressless® Anna sofa is lighter and more powerful – and the result of jumping at the opportunity.  


You've set a goal, made a plan, started working on it... and then you make a discovery that suggests there are untold opportunities ahead of you. What do you do then? Do you jump at the chance, or continue as before? Along the way, in any process, ideas may pop up that are just too exciting to ignore. That's what happened to Product Manager Rikke Wold and her team when they started designing a new Stressless® sofa.

— Actually, the work started with a completely different direction. But when we discovered the mechanical possibilities of this new Power-platform, we simply couldn't resist the temptation to design a sofa around it, says Rikke. 


The result is Stressless® Anna – a sofa that pushes the boundaries of what a motorized sofa can look like and what it can offer.  


Restorative comfort 

One significant change is that the footrest can now be lifted even higher, approaching the Zero Gravity position. It creates an incredibly relaxing feeling. By reclining the seat as far back as possible, the legs are raised to a horizontal position. This enables equal distribution of weight, removing excess pressure on certain parts of the body, which again enhances the blood circulation and provides a comfortable position for relaxation. 


Fast and silent 

So, what exactly does a motorized sofa offer? It’s quite simple: At the press of a button, the headrest appears behind you and the footrest extends from the base. Voilà – what looked like a normal low-back sofa has transformed to a recliner-like seat. 


What are people looking for in a motorized sofa? 

— We know that many are concerned with having a fast and quiet motor, and that there should be good opportunities for individual customization. That's exactly what Stressless® Anna provides. Single seats can be adjusted while other parts of the sofa remain stationary. The new platform has allowed us to create a modular design with a wide range of choices, so you can build the exact sofa you want, says Rikke. 


What about the appearance? There's a lot to hide under the hood of a motorized piece of furniture, and they have traditionally seemed a bit bulky? 

— On the outside, Stressless® Anna is definitely lighter in expression and more modern than what has been possible before. We wanted to give the frame more air, so we created a design with fewer legs, making it fit better in a modern home. The goal is to approach the appearance of a regular sofa that's not motorized, even with all the powerful components built in. 


Growing popularity 

The US and central parts of Europe are the markets with the longest traditions for this type of furniture. However, Scandinavia is catching up, and the first dealers have now introduced Stressless® Anna in Northern Europe. 


Could it have something to do with changes in lifestyle, now that large TVs and entertainment technology have become accessible to most people? Maybe people want extra comfort in their home theatres? 

— Yes, not only that, but I think many want to invest a little extra in something that can become a nice gathering place for the family. If you have flexible seating and relaxation options, the sofa will be used for much more than just watching TV. In terms of appearance, the Stressless® Anna cover features an elegant double stitch in the back and seat, giving it personality while still being neutral enough to blend in with many other pieces of furniture.  


— The recliners Stressless® Berlin and Stressless® Erik have an extra close relationship in design, making them ideal partners. It can be delivered with three different armrests and a range of leg designs, giving quite different expressions. But no matter what a piece of furniture with the Stressless® brand looks like, there's always one thing that comes first, says Rikke. 


— Comfort is always our guiding principle. The goal with any Stressless® sofa is that each seat should be as comfortable as our recliners. Of course, that's setting the bar high, but we believe we've achieved that once again. 


About Rikke

Born in Harstad, Norway, Rikke pursued industrial design at the University of South Australia. During her studies, she enjoyed working on diverse projects and developed a passion for furniture design. After returning to Norway, she joined Ekornes as a designer in 2006. Her designs have reached customers worldwide, and she has developed her expertise on materials, craftsmanship and market analysis in various roles, including designer, project manager and product manager. 

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